Quite often, in my travels, I meet some people, or visit a place that sticks with me. Ravenhill Herb Farm proved to be one of these places, when I visited this past Spring, on an overcast, yet barefoot worthy day. Not only was the property gorgeous and offered me endless photo opportunities, but the owners Brea and Todd, and their two cherubic children were welcoming and informative. I wanted to stay all day and drink their homemade kombucha. Pet their two giant dogs. Chase chickens. Pick garlic scapes. I’m positive I out-stayed my welcome.
I’ve always remembered Ravenhill as the home of Andrew Yeoman and Noel Richardson, Vancouver Island farm celebrities, who in the late ’70’s, brought the farm back to its garden glory, as it was in the 1940’s. I have a couple of Noel’s books – Summer Delights and Winter Pleasures – two books that take us on herb-y journeys through their respective seasons, and teach us about growing and cooking herbs, a subject that Ravenhill has always been famous for.
So, when I learned that Brea and Todd bought Ravenhill in 2014, I was curious about what I would find. These two own and run Pacific Rim College in Victoria, a school of complementary and integrative medicine, plus run their farm, plus raise their children, plus grow every vegetable known to mankind on their 10 acres. They are inspiring to say the least. And I loved, loved photographing them and their space.
In all honesty, that day with them really did inspire me to resurrect my garden (subsequently destroyed by deer..grrr), revamp my kombucha and sauerkraut and other fermented food making factory, and rethink my 20-something-year-old consideration of Herbal Medicine and Holistic Nutrition as a career. (I quickly slid back into photographer mode). In any case, it was a pleasure to hang out with this lovely family, listen to some bees buzz, and dodge sideways running goats.
Here’s what I saw…